The Israeli prime minister has promised a “crushing victory” over Hamas in Gaza FILE PHOTO © Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Israel is part of the forces of “freedom and progress” and light while Hamas belongs to the “axis of evil,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation in a speech on Wednesday.

“Our war against Hamas is a test for all of humanity. It is a fight between the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas axis of evil and the forces of freedom and progress,” Netanyahu said in a televised address. “We are the people of the light, they are the people of darkness. Light will triumph over the darkness.”

Israel is recruiting world leaders in support of continuing the campaign, because “our war against Hamas is also their war,” Netanyahu added.

He called the Palestinian group’s October 7 incursion “a dark day in our history” which will be “investigated thoroughly” but only after the war. Meanwhile, Netanyahu argued, his job is to lead Israel “to a crushing victory over our enemies.”

According to the PM, Israel’s two goals are to “eliminate Hamas by destroying its military and governing abilities” and do everything possible to free the hostages taken on October 7.

Israel delaying Gaza invasion to give US time – WSJ Israel delaying Gaza invasion to give US time – WSJ

“All Hamas terrorists are dead men walking – above ground, below ground, outside Gaza,” Netanyahu said. “We are raining down hellfire on Hamas. We have already eliminated thousands of terrorists – and this is only the beginning.”

Palestinian officials in Gaza have recorded 6,546 deaths since the hostilities began, of which at least 2,704 were children. Israel has reported 1,405 deaths, most in the initial Hamas attack.

Netanyahu assured Israelis that the government would provide “continued extensive assistance for all citizens of the state, just like we did during Covid” and would “not leave anyone behind.”

He also promised there would be a “ground incursion” into Gaza, but would not reveal when, saying that the operation needed to be kept out of the public eye “in order to better safeguard the lives of our soldiers.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday morning that the US has asked Israel to delay the ground attack at least until the end of this week. The Pentagon needs more time to deploy air defenses to US bases in the region, due to an increase in attacks by missiles and drones, according to anonymous officials. (RT)